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Ask Tufts Experts June 2015 Issue

Q. Your recipes sometimes call for wrapping food in aluminum foil to cook, such as in your June 2014 “Simple Salmon & Trio of Herb Sauces.” I’d prefer to limit my exposure to aluminum and wonder if there is an alternative method.

A. If your concern about aluminum springs from fears that this metal might contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association <www.alz.org> calls that a myth: “During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.”

If you nonetheless prefer not to have aluminum foil come in contact with your food, our recipe editor, Patsy Jamieson, suggests: “You can place the salmon in a glass pie pan and sprinkle with wine, salt and pepper. Cover with parchment paper, then foil, and bake at 425 degrees until salmon is opaque in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can seal the salmon and seasonings in parchment paper packets and bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 15 minutes.”

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